Found December 30, 2012 on isportsweb.com:
PLAYERS: O.J. Mayo
TEAMS: Dallas Mavericks
The Dallas Mavericks are only 2 seasons removed as the NBA champs. They were pretty much the “Cinderella team”  of the 2011 season after coming in kind of under the radar to take on the giants of the league and eventually beat the bad team from the east, the Miami Heat and get their vengeance from 2006. Then something happened, the season ended, the current bargaining contract ended and Dallas’ hopes of repeating as champs ended, or at least my current opinion. After the 2011 season, the Mavericks dismantled a lot of the championship team in hopes of getting some big fish in the off-season and hoping that the lockout would not last long; well it lasted longer than I’m sure a lot of people wanted it to and in doing so, guys came to camp out of shape and then we were not able to maintain a significant number of the players that helped us to hang the banner in the rafters. Gone were Tyson Chandler, JJ Barea, Caron Butler and some others in either being signed by other teams or retirement. Gone also was the dreams of another championship for the Mavericks. So we were able to keep Dirk, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry (well for now anyway) and then came  the phrase, “rebuilding”. It’s never a good thing when you hear the word rebuilding for a championship team, especially after winning the title. Dallas is the only championship team that lost a lot of key players the year after winning a championship and now we have fallen off the radar for sure. Dirk had to have surgery to repair his knee and of course the timing sucked, but if he didn’t have it done when he did, it could have been worse for him if he tried to play it out and then in the middle of the season, have surgery and he be done for the season. At least, it’s at the beginning of the season and we have time to make up some of the losses, maybe. So here’s where we are. For the month of December, Dallas went 5-9 and are now currently 12-18 for the season and sitting in 12th place in the Western Conference, just a .5 game ahead of Phoenix and the 13th spot. Over the month we have allowed an average of over 100 points to the opponents while only scoring around 90 points per game; so when you look at that, there is no way you can win a game. What’s the answer to the problem? Well, Dirk can’t come back and automatically Dallas starts winning, but what we can do is work together as a team. I have seen worse for a team in the same boat as the Mavs and they came together before the end of the season. We are just a little over .25 percent into the season, but Dallas has got to have the will to want to win and get back on the positive side of things. Dirk needs more conditioning in order to get his legs back under him and to make the shots we all know he can do. The team needs to find a point guard leader and stick to it. Kidd is gone, Darren Collison we thought was that person, but he has not fulfilled that spot yet, Derek Fisher was brought in to fill that void and, well now he’s gone. So who is our knight in shining armor? The team has to find that out and soon or another streak will be lost to the Mavs. O J Mayo needs to find his inner confidence again and keep it. He started the season off so good, but then it seems that he gets lost in himself during a game and before you know it, he’s committing 7-8 turnovers because he’s trying too hard and not working with his team. I knew when he came to Dallas that he was a great addition and so did the Mavericks organization, he just needs to do it on a continual basis. Rick Carlisle needs to find a way to make this group of guys work together as a team and not individuals. He needs to keep their spirits lifted even in the face of adversity so that they can pull of those amazing wins when they are down by 10-15 points. The team as a whole needs to play better defense. It’s as if we are back to the old Nellie ball ways and not covering our man on the defensive end of the court and all we want to do it try and score, which is good, but a good team starts with defense because before you can score, you need to stop your opponent. This is what Avery Johnson was good at when he was the coach at Dallas, even though it was a tough transition, it was a good thing for Dallas to have to go through and it has carried over for several seasons, but we are getting away from that otherwise you would not allow a team to hang 20 three-pointers on your hat and set a team record for them at your expense. While I am doing this article, I’m listening to the song that the Mavericks play in the second half of their games, “Who’s going to run this town tonight?”, and that is my question to the Dallas Mavericks team, who is going to run your town tonight? San Antonio comes to Dallas for a re-match, and I want to ask the Maverick players, are you going to let them run your town tonight? If not, block out, guard up and man up and play the type of basketball we have been waiting for all season long. If this is the rebuilding mode, then let’s start building those blocks tonight and move on up that ladder. As George Jefferson said, we moving on up! The city of Dallas, the MFFL’s and the players deserve better and it’s time to step up to the plate and hit it out of the park, I know that’s a baseball reference, but means the same thing! So with that Iwill wish you all a good night and say good luck and let’s go Mavs!
THE BACKYARD
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